We had the good fortune of connecting with Kinsey Kistler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kinsey, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
here is my edit: In 2013, Kelsey was accepted to a newly formed Entrepreneurship Business master’s degree program. She had recently visited her Great uncle and spent a day on the farm learning his skin cream recipe he had created for his child with sensitive skin issues. She decided to use this skincare formula as the practicum portion of her master’s program. She used Great Uncle Claude’s cream and her mock company to go through all the aspects of starting, building, and creating a company. After graduation, she moved to Colorado to be closer to her sister. One evening, they were making the skin cream for personal use in the dry Colorado climate. “We looked at each other, both knowing what the other was thinking, and said ‘this is simple and it’s incredible. We should be selling this!’” So, adding some full moon energy and good vibrations, Snake Oil Beauty Co. started as just two sisters making skin cream for fun. “We laugh about that conversation to this day because we thought it was going to be that easy. We’ve found that the concept of your business can be simple, but the entire process is like going down the rabbit hole. The old adage of “You don’t know what you don’t know” feels particularly appropriate for this. Creating a product is easy but building a business around that is where the real challenge is. There are constant obstacles, issues, problems, and questions but it is always so rewarding when you come up with solutions. Seeing the brand and business grow and evolve is nothing short of amazing.”
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a handmade, small-batch, natural skincare company. Using our heirloom recipe as a base we add a twist by incorporating the energy of crystals and healing properties of essential oils. We use crystal elixir charged in the full moon to create our signature products. Essential oils are specifically paired to illuminate the crystals’ metaphysical properties. We offer a full line of skincare products including creams, tonics, hydrants, scrubs, and more. The name Snake Oil Beauty was thoughtfully chosen. We understand some people might not fully subscribe to the belief that crystal energy is real, so by using a quippy name we can capture the believers and non-believers with our ultra-effective skincare products. The snake is a symbol of rebirth and renewal and that is what we strive to achieve with your skin and spirit through every product. During this pandemic, it has been difficult as a new small business to get the word out. Originally, we planned to use live events to promote our brand to the Denver area. With events being canceled due to COVID-19 , we had to shift our approach and go fully digital. We’ve been working with social media to promote Snake Oil Beauty Co. and are starting to gain traction around the country. Sometimes it feels like throwing darts in the dark, but when we hit on something that works, it gives us a boost of energy to keep going. The biggest takeaway from running a business during a pandemic is flexibility. Start with an idea of where you want to go but expect there to be detours and opportunities to pivot along the way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
No trip to Denver, in our eyes, would be complete without strolling around RiNo checking out the Crushwalls art. A great dinner at our family favorite, Hop Alley tops the day off. A daytime outing to Union Station to peruse the local farmers’ markets and shops makes for a perfect photo op before sipping cocktails on a patio watching the hustle and bustle of the city and Denver’s picturesque sunsets. End the evening checking out the local nightspots like Sputnik on Broadway or opt for live music at one of the historical music venues lining Colfax Ave. With close proximity to the mountains, you’d be amiss if you didn’t head along I-70 towards the beautiful Rocky Mountains. A favorite outing for us is visiting hot springs around the area. Nothing is more relaxing after an exhilarating hike than a dip in the warm natural spring.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our success and our entire existence is, first, thanks to our Great Uncle Claude, the creator of and our teacher. Without him, there would be no Snake Oil Beauty Co. Throughout our business journey, we have appreciated support from our family and the local community. Many of our followers and regular customers are in the Denver area including our friend and business coach, Nicole B-Z, who has helped us with marketing education, product feedback, and constantly reassuring us we weren’t crazy. She has connected us with other small business owners and community events. The outpouring of support from the community is what keeps us moving forward and running a business so rewarding.